At least six bells have been stolen from Greek churches in Distromo in the last two months, with thieves allegedly melting the bells down for scrap metal.
So far police have not made any arrests in the small town, located on the Greek mainland, with the most recent thefts taking place last weekend on Lazurus Saturday, a feast on the Greek Orthodox calendar.
The first theft, according to a report from the newspaper Proto Thema, took place around two months ago. Since then, local parish commissioners have made reports to the police, but so far there have not been any arrests or suspects identified.
Police have stated that they believe the thefts are not the work of one person but a group of people who identify targets, come to the churches with a vehicle late at night, and use various tools to steal the bells in order, likely, to melt them down for scrap metal.
Kazakh Migrant Arrested After Stealing €50,000 of Items from Greek Churches https://t.co/TYM8jCU0wM
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Investigators in Distomo have been joined by police from other areas, as other similar thefts have also been reported. Investigators say they are also looking into possible accomplices who might be purchasing the bells from the thieves.
The thefts come after a number of crimes and acts of vandalism involving churches in Greece over the last year.
In June of last year, a 36-year-old migrant man was arrested after being suspected of stealing up to €50,000 (£46,000/$56,000) work of items from churches in the region around the city of Thessaloniki.
In July, a pair of migrants were arrested on the island of Chios after breaking into a church and stealing various objects inside.